Growers and custom applicators have been updating their in-cab and on-board technology over the last year, writes Lisa Heacox on CropLife.com.
“They’re updating their current machines as they find technology that increases their efficiency with good return on investment potential,” says Harlan Little, Product Manager, Precision Agriculture Applications, Topcon Positioning Systems. Certainly a good idea in the midst of continued weak markets.
But cab display manufacturers have a tall order: Make units as powerful and as easy to use as possible.
As Sam Worley, Product Marketing Specialist with Ag Leader, put it, “In our industry the ability to have anyone jump in the cab and be able to operate the display is crucial. Not only do displays need to be rugged and intuitive, they also need to provide usable data in a simple fashion.”
He says the new InCommand display line is full of features to make data collection and display usability easier: split screen mapping, row-by-row detail, intuitive map navigation, and a tablet-like surface.
Topcon’s Horizon software supplied on the company’s X-series of consoles offers an easy to understand interface, explains Little. It features a combination of wizards that walk the operator through the setup process by showing the program’s menu structure in an easy to use expandable tree. The Access Level feature can clear icons from the user’s view if they’re not needed regularly.
One challenge is to find ways for Topcon customers to find out about new features — or even existing ones. To assist, the Horizon user interface offers a Help button. When help is turned on, the users can press the icon they are unsure of and a label describing the feature pops up. When a new version of the software is loaded and they see a new icon, they can simply touch it to begin to understand what has been added. Topcon is also going to increase its video content to have a library of “how-to” examples that operators can view to help them understand any unused features.